May 7: Gaming Refugee Status for Central Americans? Decision Rules, Application and the Refugee Status Determination Process of U.S. Hearing Officers

CCIS Seeking Asylum in North America Joint Speaker Series

Gaming Refugee Status for Central Americans? Decision Rules, Application and the Refugee Status Determination Process of U.S. Hearing Officers

In the absence of sufficient transparency at the border regarding how credible fear determinations are made, it is often difficult to assess how accurate are decisions made by border control agents increasingly responsible for issuing credible fear determinations. Drawing upon an in depth case study of the American Immigration Lawyers Association-American Immigration Council Artesia Pro Bono Galya_Ruffer_ArtesiaProject for Central American women and children, the study examines the process of seeking asylum through irregular entry across the United States national border and argues that, through the use of discretion and informal administrative processes, the asylum system, intended to protect human rights, is “gamed” by decision makers such that it has turn into a deterrence system in violation of our own commitment to asylum and human rights. The research seeks to inform how policy change concerning the “Central American migration crisis” differentially plays out on the ground and advance understandings of how the legal process (starting at the border and ending with a final determination), as an overtly executive infused process, engages with legal aid and advocacy organizations and decision makers across the process that exercise discretion as they juggle the competing demands of technical rationality and quests for justice in their operation.

Galya Ruffer, Director of International Studies and the founding Director of the Center for Forced Migration Studies at the Buffett Institute for Global Studies at Northwestern University

Thursday, May 7, 4:00pm 
Eleanor Roosevelt College Administration Building 
Conference Room 115, First Floor
 Ruffer-168x210Galya Ruffer is the Director of International Studies and the founding Director of the Center for Forced Migration Studies at the Buffett Institute for Global Studies at Northwestern University. Her work centers on refugee rights and protection, regional understandings of the root causes of conflict and refugee crises, rule of law and the process of international justice with a particular focus on the Great Lakes Region of Africa. She has published on the role of experts in the refugee status determination process, testimony and justice in the DR Congo, asylum law and policy, human rights litigation in transnational courts and immigrant incorporation and integration in Europe. Her new research focuses on refugee protection outside of the international legal framework. Aside from her academic work, she has worked as an immigration attorney representing political asylum claimants both as a solo-practitioner and as a pro-bono attorney.
For arrangements to accommodate a disability, contact the Office for Students with Disabilities at or (858) 534-9709 (TTY).

IICAS SSN CA school of law

April 28-29: International Migration Politics in Europe and the US

Traduction simultanée Anglais-Français

Simultaneous translation French-English

Le Centre de recherche METICES de l’Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), l’Institut Wallon de l’Évaluation, de la Prospective et de la Statistique (IWEPS) et le Center for Comparative Immigration Studies (CCIS) de l’Université de Californie, San Diego, USA ont le plaisir de vous annoncer la tenue du colloque international.

“Migrations internationales: les politiques migratoires en Europe et aux États-Unis dans une perspective de genre et de classe”

Bruxelles, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Institut de sociologie, 28-29 avril 2015

L’accès au colloque est gratuit mais l’inscription est obligatoire via le lien ci-dessou:

Le Centre de recherche METICES de l’Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), l’Institut Wallon de l’Évaluation, de la Prospective et de la Statistique (IWEPS) and the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies (CCIS) at the University of California, San Diego are delighted to announce the holding of the international conference.

“International Migration Politics and  Policies in Europe and the U.S.: Gender and Class Perspectives”

Brussels, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Institut de sociologie, April 28-29, 2015

Free access but compulsory registration through the link:

Vous trouverez ci-joint l’affiche ainsi que le programme du colloque en français et en anglais. Toutes les informations se trouvent sur le site du centre Metices: en Français:
N’hésitez pas à diffuser cette annonce! Au plaisir de vous y retrouver!
Pour le Comité d’organisation…
Click here for the poster and the program of the conference in French and English. All information about the conference are available on the METICES website: in English:
Don’t hesitate to disseminate the information! See you soon!
For the organizing committee…

Abdeslam Marfouk,  Nouria Ouali, David FitzGerald, IWEPS, Centre METICES, CCIS

Organisé en partenariat avec l’ABSFA (Association Belge Francophone de Sociologie et d’Antropologie) et avec le soutien de:


“White Backlash”: New Book from Marisa Abrajano & Zoltan Hajnal

UCSD Professors and CCIS Affiliates Marisa Abrajano & Zoltan Hajnal have published a new work – White Backlash: Immigration, Race, and American Politics. 

White Backlash provides an authoritative assessment of how immigration is reshaping the politics of the nation. Using an array of data and analysis, Marisa Abrajano and Zoltan Hajnal show that fears about immigration fundamentally influence white Americans’ core political identities, policy preferences, and electoral choices, and that these concerns are at the heart of a large-scale defection of whites from the Democratic to the Republican Party.

Abrajano and Hajnal demonstrate that this political backlash has disquieting implications for the future of race relations in America. White Americans’ concerns about Latinos and immigration have led to support for policies that are less generous and more punitive and that conflict with the preferences of much of the immigrant population. America’s growing racial and ethnic diversity is leading to a greater racial divide in politics. As whites move to the right of the political spectrum, racial and ethnic minorities generally support the left. Racial divisions in partisanship and voting, as the authors indicate, now outweigh divisions by class, age, gender, and other demographic measures.

White Backlash raises critical questions and concerns about how political beliefs and future elections will change the fate of America’s immigrants and minorities, and their relationship with the rest of the nation.

March 11: Ethnic Dating and Mate Selection with Cynthia Feliciano & Kevin Lewis

CCIS Spring Seminar Series

Ethnic Dating & Mate Selection

Cynthia Feliciano, Associate Professor of Sociology & Chicano/Latino Studies, UC Irvine
Kevin Lewis, Assistant Professor of Sociology, UC San Diego

Wednesday, March 11, 12:00pm 
Eleanor Roosevelt College Administration Building 
Conference Room 115, First Floor

Lunch will be provided

In this panel, Prof. Feliciano and Prof. Lewis present overviews of their work using data from online dating websites to examine racial and ethnic preferences in dating. Feliciano will discuss her research using data on stated racial preferences to examine what they reveal about racial hierarchies, the incorporation of Asians and Latinos into the U.S. racial structure, and the heterogeneity among Latinos and multiracial groups. In his presentation, Lewis will draw from data on user behaviors in order to disentangle competing theories of attraction, document how preferences vary at different stages of interaction, and understand the strategies pursued by site users from different backgrounds.The panelists will comment on each other’s work; discuss the challenges and opportunities presented by using this type of data for research; and use this conversation as a springboard for a broader dialogue with the audience.

Cynthia Feliciano is Associate Professor of Sociology and Chicano/Latino Studies at the University of California, Irvine. Her research investigates the development and consequences of group boundaries and inequalities based on race, ethnicity, class, and gender. This work primarily, but not exclusively, focuses on how descendants of Latin American and Asian immigrants are incorporated in the United States, a question at the center of prominent theoretical debates, and of great practical importance given current demographic trends.

She pursues these issues through two main strands of research: 1) determinants of educational inequality and 2) ethnic and racial boundary-making and relations. Professor Feliciano is the author of Unequal Origins: Immigrant Selection and the Education of the Second Generation (LFB Scholarly 2006), and numerous articles in journals including Social Problems, Social Forces, Sociology of Education, Demography, and Social Science Quarterly. She received her B.A. from Boston University and her Ph.D. from UCLA, and has been a fellow of the Ford Foundation, the University of California President’s Postdoctoral Program and the National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation.

Kevin Lewis is Assistant Professor of Sociology at UC San Diego. He received his BA in sociology and philosophy (mathematics minor) from UC San Diego and his MA and PhD in sociology from Harvard University. His research focuses on the formation and evolution of social networks, and addresses three general questions. First, what underlying micro-mechanisms give rise to observed network patterns? Second, what is the role of culture, and especially of cultural tastes, in social network dynamics? Third, what are the implications of these processes for the genesis and reproduction of inequality?

To answer these questions, he has analyzed a number of large-scale network datasets—spanning topics from online dating to internet activism to college students’ behavior on Facebook—and his work has been published in the American Journal of Sociology, the Proceedings of the National Academy of SciencesSociological Science, and Social Networks. Lewis is also a Faculty Associate at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society.

For arrangements to accommodate a disability, contact the Office for Students with Disabilities at or (858) 534-9709 (TTY).

Feb 23: Authors Meet Critics with David FitzGerald and Natalia Molina

Authors Meet Critics: Book Panel for Culling the Masses and How Race is Made in America

David FitzGerald, Associate Professor of Sociology, UCSD – Culling the Masses
Natalia Molina, Associate Professor of History and Urban Studies, UCSD – How Race is Made in America
Nayan Shah, Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity and History. USC – Discussant

Monday, February 23, 12:00pm
Eleanor Roosevelt College Administration Building
Conference Room 115, First Floor

*Lunch will be provided

Culling the MassesThe Democratic Origins of Racist Immigration Policy in the Americas questions the widely held view that in the long run democracy and racism cannot coexist. David Scott FitzGerald and David Cook-Martín show that democracies were the first countries in the Americas to select immigrants by race, and undemocratic states the first to outlaw discrimination. Through analysis of legal records from twenty-two countries between 1790 and 2010, the authors present a history of the rise and fall of racial selection in the Western Hemisphere.

The conventional claim that racism and democracy are antithetical—because democracy depends on ideals of equality and fairness, which are incompatible with the notion of racial inferiority—cannot explain why liberal democracies were leaders in promoting racist policies and laggards in eliminating them. Ultimately, the authors argue, the changed racial geopolitics of World War II and the Cold War was necessary to convince North American countries to reform their immigration and citizenship laws.

How Race Is Made in AmericaImmigration, Citizenship, and the Historical Power of Racial Scripts examines Mexican Americans—from 1924, when American law drastically reduced immigration into the United States, to 1965, when many quotas were abolished—to understand how broad themes of race and citizenship are constructed. These years shaped the emergence of what Natalia Molina describes as animmigration regime, which defined the racial categories that continue to influence perceptions in the United States about Mexican Americans, race, and ethnicity.

Prof. Molina introduces and explains her central theory, racial scripts, which highlights the ways in which the lives of racialized groups are linked across time and space and thereby affect one another. How Race Is Made in America also shows that these racial scripts are easily adopted and adapted to apply to different racial groups.

David Scott FitzGerald is the Theodore E. Gildred Chair in U.S.-Mexican Relations, Associate Professor of Sociology, and Co-Director of the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at the University of California, San Diego. He is co-author of Culling the Masses: The Democratic Roots of Racist Immigration Policy in the Americas (Harvard University Press, 2014); author of A Nation of Emigrants: How Mexico Manages its Migration (University of California Press, 2009), and co-editor of six books on Mexico-U.S. migration.
FitzGerald’s work on the politics of international migration, transnationalism, and research methodology has been published in journals such as the American Journal of Sociology, International Migration Review, Comparative Studies in Society and History, Ethnic and Racial Studies, Qualitative Sociology, New York University Law Review, Journal of Interdisciplinary History, and Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. His current project examines asylum policies in comparative perspective.

Natalia Associate is Professor of History and Urban Studies and Associate Vice Chancellor for Faculty Diversity and Equity at the University of California, San Diego. Her first book, Fit to be Citizens? Public Health and Race in Los Angeles, 1879-1939, explored the ways in which race is constructed relationally and regionally. In that work, which garnered the Noris and Carol Hundley book prize of the PCB-American Historical Association, she argues that race must be understood comparatively in order to see how the laws, practices, and attitudes directed at one racial group affected others. Fit to Be Citizens?demonstrates how both science and public health shaped the meaning of race in the early twentieth century.
Professor Molina  previously served as the Associate Dean for Arts and Humanities and before that as the Director for University of California Education Abroad Program in Granada, Córdoba, and Cádiz, Spain.

Nayan Shah is Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity at University of Southern California. He previously worked as a professor of history at University of California, San Diego and State University of New York Binghamton. Prof. Shah’s research and teaching focuses on the struggles over state authority in relation to the politics of race and gender. His research is most well known for its reconceptualization of how racial meanings are constituted through the articulations of gender and sexuality in state politics and culture. Prof. Shah’s first book, Contagious Divides: Epidemics and Race in San Francisco’s Chinatown, examined the history of San Francisco Chinatown through the prism of public health and policy. It won the Association of Asian American Studies History Book Prize in 2002.
In Stranger Intimacy: Contesting Race, Sexuality, and the Law in the North American West, Prof. Shah explored the contestations over the meanings of state power and citizenship through the social relationships that arose among South Asian migrants in northwestern United States and Canada in the twentieth century. He currently serves as editor for the GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies.


Feb 12: Recognizing Refugees from the Hemispheric Drug War with Everard Meade

Children of Impunity and Ignominy: Recognizing Refugees from the Hemispheric Drug War

Thursday, January 22, 12:10pm 
California Western School of Law
Room 2F

Everard MeadeDr. Everard Meade is the Director of the Trans-Border Institute (TBI) at the University of San Diego. Dr. Meade received a PhD in History from the University of Chicago and is a published scholar with extensive experience teaching courses on the history of Mexico, U.S. relations with Latin America and human rights.

He was co-founder of the Eleanor Roosevelt College Human Rights Minor Program at the University of California, San Diego. Dr. Meade’s most recent research focuses on individuals and families who have fled violence in Mexico and Central America. For the past fifteen years, Dr. Meade has also served as advisor, activist, expert witness and grant writer raising funds for the Chicago-based National Immigrant Justice Center.

This presentation is a part of the Seeking Asylum in North America speaker series, co-sponsored by the California Western School of Law, the Institute for International, Comparative and Area Studies and the Scholars Strategy Network.

Claire Adida’s new book “Immigrant Exclusion and Insecurity in Africa: Coethnic Strangers”

Immigrant Exclusion - AdidaClaire L. Adida, UC San Diego Assistant Professor of Political Science and CCIS Research Associate, has published a new book through Cambridge Press – Immigrant Exclusion and Insecurity in Africa: Coethnic Strangers

The book explores the diverse immigrant experiences in urban West Africa, where some groups integrate seamlessly while others face exclusion and violence. It shows, counterintuitively, that cultural similarities between immigrants and their hosts do not help immigrant integration and may, in fact, disrupt it. This book is one of the first to describe and explain in a systematic way immigrant integration in the developing world, where half of all international migrants go. It relies on intensive fieldwork tracking two immigrant groups in three host cities, and draws from in-depth interviews and survey data to paint a picture of the immigrant experience from both immigrant and host perspectives.

KNOMAD issues Call for Proposal on Internal Migration and Urbanization

 The Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development (KNOMAD) is envisaged to be a global hub of knowledge and policy expertise on migration and development issues. KNOMAD draws on experts from all parts of the world to synthesize existing knowledge and generate new knowledge for use by policy makers in sending and receiving countries. KNOMAD works in close coordination with the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) and the Global Migration Group (GMG).

KNOMAD has been working on improving understanding on internal migration and urbanization. In 2014, KNOMAD worked on three aspects of internal migration: (i) drivers of internal migration, (ii) impact of internal migration, including on poverty reduction, and (iii) internal migration data. Some of the work is available as a KNOMAD Working Paper series and on KNOMAD web, .

In an effort to further enhance understanding on internal migration, the KNOMAD Thematic Working Group on Internal Migration and Urbanization plans to look into the link between internal migration and rural and urban development. It aims to identify good practices that help develop sustainable livelihoods and create jobs in rural and urban areas, while leveraging the internal migration process for poverty reduction and development.

Please click here for more information on the Call for Proposal specifying the objectives and scope of the research, together with timelines.

If interested in joining this effort, please send a research proposal to C.R. Abrar (, Rosemary Vargas-Lundius (, copying Soonhwa Yi ( by February 23, 2015. A proposal should specify (i) motivation and the main research question, (ii) brief literature review, (iii) methodology, (iv) expected findings and their policy implications, (v) team composition and budget, and (vi) timeline.


Puentes Consortium opens call for research stays

Puentes ConsortiumPuentes Consortium has opened its annual call for short-term research stays. Funds are available for professors and for PhD students from UCSD for four to six weeks stays over the summer in Mexico at the University of Monterrey, University of the Americas Puebla, and the Tecnologico de Monterrey.

Priority is given to research related to binational and border issues, but the consortium has a wider interest in issues related to energy, the environment, education and health. The deadline for proposals is March 1st and the call is attached.

Proposals can be submitted directly to but I would like to encourage prospective applicants to notify me of their application as well.